Irreversible EGFR inhibitors in advanced non-small-cell lung carcinoma: rationale and clinical evidence

Author(s): Deme John Karikios & Michael Joseph Boyer

The EGFR has become an important target in lung cancer treatment. Reversible inhibitors of this receptor have been shown to improve outcomes for patients whose tumors harbor EGFR mutations, as well as for those with wild-type EGFR. The development of resistance (either primary or acquired) to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors is a common occurrence and irreversible EGFR inhibitors have been developed to overcome this problem. There are now emerging clinical data for the two major irreversible inhibitors; afatinib and dacomitinib. The question of how and when we use these irreversible inhibitors still needs to be answered.